Duala Creators‑in‑Residence Announced: Tara Breen and Nuala Kennedy

The Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) and the Arts Office of Clare County Council are delighted to announce that the second Duala: Creator-in-Residence Scheme has been awarded to joint applicants Tara Breen and Nuala Kennedy. Ag Lorg Ár Líne – Clare Women: Listening and Performing will premiere online on Friday 17 September, as part of Culture Night 2021.

Duala 2021 Nuala Kennedy Tara Breen Itma 2 Logos Crop 1200
Nuala Kennedy and Tara Breen, 2021

The Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) and the Arts Office of Clare County Council are delighted to announce that the second Duala: Creator-in-Residence Scheme has been awarded to joint applicants Tara Breen and Nuala Kennedy.

Ag Lorg Ár Líne – Clare Women: Listening and Performing will premiere online on Friday 17 September, as part of Culture Night 2021.

Ag Lorg Ár Líne is a recording concept driven by research and collaboration. By listening deeply to archival recordings of their female predecessors, the two contemporary musicians are attempting to 'collaborate remotely' across time and space with some of their County Clare musical foremothers: Kitty Hayes, song/concertina; Nell Galvin, fiddle; Mary Haren, concertina, and singer Nora Cleary. 

Through creative use of digital archival recordings, Nuala and Tara will explore and reimagine the details and subtleties of the music of these influential women performers through contemporary duet performance.

Siobhán  Mulcahy, Clare County Arts Office stated “We are delighted to support this project in which the artists, Nuala and Tara, seized on the challenging times we live in to “collaborate remotely”, highlighting the contemporary nature of their traditional music practices. This resonated with us and the proposal shone brightly amongst a strong calibre of proposals, highlighting, once again artists enthusiasm to work in County Clare.”

Liam O’Connor, Director of ITMA, stated, “The creativity expressed in the applications for the second Duala Residency, and that of the selected project from Tara Breen & Nuala Kennedy, is a testimony to the continuing value of archival collections to inspire new and innovative artistic work. We are delighted to work with Tara, Nuala and Clare County Arts Office, and particularly appreciate the opportunity to focus on collections and materials relating to women in County Clare that are held in ITMA.”

The open call for this initiative between Clare Arts Office and ITMA attracted a large number of applicants excited by an opportunity to reflect /respond creatively to collections and materials that are of relevance or reference County Clare held in ITMA.  Along with traditional musicians and dancers, applications were received from a multitude of art forms and there was a large amount of proposals from artists outside Ireland.

The Duala residency is valued at €8,000.

Nuala Kennedy is an acclaimed and award-winning touring and recording solo & ensemble artist. A traditional singer and flute player, she grew up playing Irish music in Dundalk, County Louth, and now currently resides in Ennis, County Clare with her Appalachian singer husband A. J. Roach and their two young children. For more information: http://www.nualakennedy.com/ 

Tara Breen from Co. Clare is an acclaimed and award-winning fiddle, flute and saxophone player. She has recorded and toured extensively with a number of bands including The Chieftains and Stockton’s Wing, and is the recipient of multiple All-Ireland Fleadh titles as a solo and ensemble player. Tara studied music and Irish in University College Cork, and has been teaching fiddle for over a decade. She is now employed by Music Generation.

The Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) is the national public archive and resource centre for Irish traditional music, song and dance, and the globally-recognised specialist advisory agency to advance appreciation, knowledge, and the practice of Irish traditional music. Established in 1987 it is funded by the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. For more information: https://www.itma.ie

Clare Arts Office work with artists of all disciplines (painters, musicians, dancers, writers, actors etc.) and communities throughout the county on a variety of programmes and projects. For more information: https://www.clarearts.ie

The first Duala Creator-in-Residence award was made to Jack Talty and Maurice Gunning for ‘Duala: A film’, which is freely available to view online.

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